Southeast Department of Nursing Awarded $699,478 Federal ‘Rural Linkages’ Grant


The Department of Nursing at Southeast Missouri State University has been awarded a $699,478 federal grant for its “Advanced Education Nursing: Rural Linkages” initiative.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources, and Services Administration (HRSA) recently awarded the grant for a three-year period. 

The grant is designed to change the health status of the rural disadvantaged region in the Missouri Bootheel, said Dr. A. Louise Hart, chair of the Southeast Department of Nursing. She says that developing critical linkages will help recruit, graduate and place culturally competent Advanced Education Nurses in the southeastern portion of the University’s service region in the Missouri Bootheel.  Hart says that targeting nurses in the Bootheel for advanced education who will continue to live and practice within the area will significantly influence the health status of area residents.

The project also involves recruiting minorities into the nursing program, supporting applicants to be successful, increasing the cultural competence of faculty and clinical preceptors, and educating culturally competent advanced practice nurses, Hart said.

“Recruitment into the nursing program must begin early,” she said, adding that linkages with rural school districts, health clinics and the Kennett Area Higher Education Center will make it possible to enhance advanced nursing education and increase the nursing workforce.

Hart; Dr. Elaine Jackson, director of Graduate Studies; Dr. Cathy Young, coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Track; and Dr. Shelba Branscum, director of the Hoover Center, wrote the grant. This is the second HRSA grant awarded to the Department of Nursing at Southeast. 

“We are particularly proud of the original grant of $718,898 because it was the first federal grant of its kind awarded to Southeast,” Hart said.

Hart and Young wrote the original grant to establish the Family Nurse Practitioner track within the Master’s Degree Program at Southeast. The Family Nurse Practitioner track has been active for the past six years, and more than 40 family nurse practitioners have graduated into the region. Southeast’s Master of Science in Nursing program has evolved over time into three areas of study: the Family Nurse Practitioner, the Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist and the Nurse Educator.